Plumpy Balms : Valerie Brown

Plumpy Balms is a Northern Ireland based brand specialising in natural and vegan skincare and cosmetics with some of the most popular products being lip butters, balms and tints.

When did you start up your artisan business?

I set up Plumpy Balms in November 2017. An opportunity came up to attend a Christmas market and I thought why not. It was super scary and a mad dash to get organised but it went brilliantly! That was the start of Plumpy Balms.

What inspired the concept for your business?

Lots of things inspired me to set up Plumpy Balms. I had been self employed for years as a business mentor for other businesses and I always knew I wanted to have my own products and brand I guess. I went to Ghana in 2013 and loved the natural shea and cocoa butters. I came back and spent almost 4 years experimenting with making balms, skincare products you name it! I always loved lip balms and lip tints and so this is what I decided to focus on. I also wanted to make products which were vegan alternatives to most of the lip balms in the market and made with really good quality natural ingredients that actually helped to protect, moisturise and repair dry lips and didn't cost the earth.

What was your business mission at the outset? Does this compare to where you are now?

My business mission is still the same to make really good quality natural vegan beauty products that are affordable. I will only make products that excite me, that I actually use and its great to get so much lovely feedback from customers who feel as excited as me about Plumpy.

Why do you feel it is important to promote and sell a vegan product?

I think some vegan beauty products can be quite expensive and so I really wanted to make vegan products that had a luxury feel without the high price tag. I also wanted Plumpy to bring a bit of feel good into

customer's lives. A little bit of cheer I guess

What do you enjoy most about your business and trading with Urban Events?

I absolutely love the creative process of making Plumpy Balms. When I am experimenting with a new product or flavour and I finally land on something really good. Then I can't wait to bring it to life and to customers. I am working on a few ideas right now and loving it!

Being part of Urban Markets is absolutely brilliant for so many reasons. For a start I love the UM team, everyone is so friendly and helpful and this really does create a lovely vibe at every market. The markets have a great variety of local artisan stalls and I have made some fab friends with other regular traders. The markets are so well attended with visitors genuinely interested in supporting local. I'm can't wait for the NI Vegan Festival this year!